A National Emergency
Spain takes an ugly turn. The systemic corruption and intellectual anemia of the Franco dictatorship sowed the seed of a story of ambition and abandon that was only reinforced, when the regime ended, by a mediocre political class, and which has led to “democracy’s greatest fiasco”: the destruction of the landscape.
With this crushing thesis and a provocative title, the journalist Andrés Rubio unstrings in his agile, straightforward writing the causes of what he considers a ‘national emergency.’ He concentrates his scathing critique on the awful political management of the territory and our built heritage, in alliance with the inert media and the compliant silence of a numbed citizenry. Well documented, the author takes us cross-country through the most desolate cases, from horrid hotels to formless cities by way of the over-exploitation of coasts and islands.
Nevertheless, there are success stories: places that have been spared the corrosive operations that have disfigured other parts of our geography. Examples of civic responsibility that Rubio attributes more to the spontaneous appearance of reasonable mayors here and there, than to any organized resolution to protect the collective treasure that our entire territory is. Small local nuggets of hope that pale beside the statewide models implemented in countries like France and Germany, which the author would like to see taking hold in Spain too. A cultural struggle that prefigures a sad future if nothing is done.